And we’re back! Hope everyone had a great summer. Now, on to the business of Steele.
Our episode opens on a nattily dressed couple entering an office. They’re starting to dress alike. It must be love!
Laura starts to introduce themselves to the receptionist, and Mr. Steele chimes in. “We have an appointment,” they say in unison.
Steele finishes the thought: “To see Dr. Bellows.”
The receptionist (nurse?) is the no-nonsense type. “Will you fill out this financial statement,” she begins briskly, handing them a bit of paperwork.
“I’m Remington Steele-” Remington Steele protests.
“And also these waivers of liability,” says receptionurse.
“Waiver of liability, eh?” Steele says. Laura seems content to let him take the lead. Or, based on the look on her face, she’s waiting for him to mess this up. Oh, Laura.
Receptionurse explains that it’s a standard form that releases the doctor from responsibility if they croak on the operating table.
Laura decides to step in. “You don’t understand …”
(Side note: How fabulous does Laura look in that fedora? And how obvious is Mr. Steele’s admiration for Laura here? The boy is smitten!)
Receptionurse isn’t interested in understanding. She wants cash on the barrelhead. “It’s customary to pay for medical services in advance.”
The detectives make an end run for the goal line.
“The fee for consultation is seventy five dollars,” the scary lady persists, moving to intercept them. And by the way, they don’t take personal checks.
The presumed patient’s patience has been expended.
“Nurse Ratched,” Mr. Steele interjects. “We are private investigators, summoned by Dr. Bellows.”
Receptionurse Ratched wants to know why he didn’t just say so in the first place. She goes to call her boss.
Suddenly there is a sound of a gunshot from inside the office, to which Nurse Ratched reacts rather belatedly and with some indifference.
Steele and Laura, however, race into the office.
Oh, look. A corpse. Laura checks to make sure Dr. Bellows is dead.
Turns out he is.
As Receptionurse Ratched goes to call the police, Laura notices dead man is clutching something in his cold, dead fist.
It’s a not-very-elegant invitation: “You are cordially invited to spend the weekend in the Devil’s Playground.”
Well! An intriguing start to the episode, eh? Perhaps most mysterious, we have so far seen no credits. Where is the list of guest stars? Who wrote the script? When do our pals James Read and Janet DeMay get their due? So many mysteries already!